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The top 5 UX design hacks every copywriter should know about

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I’ve been working on my own positioning lately. Something a lot of people I talk to share, is how they find my combination of copywriting and UX design quite unique. Here are 3 of the biggest UX lessons that helped me shortcut my way to writing more effective copy…

Why copy + UX? My assumption after having worked both as a copywriter and UX lead at a startup was that a lot of the research you do is very aligned. And if writing copy is about a transformation, why the hell shouldn’t you also look at the experience during that transformation?

It just made logical sense to me.

In particular 5 main mental models stuck with me and I go back to them over and over whenever I write and wireframe:

1. Jakob’s Law: Users spend most of their time on other sites. This means that users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know.

It’s all about setting and matching expectations. It’s harder to change them than it is to meet them with your copy, so don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to. Use language your audience is used to.

2. Serial Position Effect: Users have a propensity to best remember the first and last items in a series.

Beginning and end, left or right… Place your most important pieces of copy at the extremities. Intentionally feed readers what they need to remember most to build your argument.

3. Peak-End Rule: People judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak and at its end, rather than the total sum or average of every moment of the experience.

When writing your prospect’s narrative or story arc, remember to paint very vivid pictures of both the moment of highest tension and of the moment of highest pleasure (as copywriter Ry Schwartz calls them). Then and only then, build the bridge in between.

4. Occam’s Razor: Among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

Keep it simple. Remember the rule of one. One idea, one thought, one promise. Consider your copy done only when you can’t remove anything else.

5. Miller’s Law: The average person can only keep 7 (plus or minus 2) items in their working memory.

Writing the elements of your navigation menu? Or bullet points for your landing page? Maybe some copy for a few cards addressing objections… Keep these limitations in mind.

There are a ton more, but these are probably the most immediately applicable, over and over. You can find more on this awesome website if you’re interested.

These are the foundations of the alchemy in Conversion Alchemy. I’ll keep working on how I present and position my brand in the coming weeks.

And I’ll keep you posted of course!

✅ In case you missed it

  • I love being transparent with you. And building in public is a great way of doing it. I just finished working on two new products to help SaaS and ecommerce businesses learn why their websites are not converting and how to fix it. You can take a look at the new pages on my site here and here. These are some ways I will be able to scale my work while helping clients get insights faster and more cost-effectively. How are you scaling your business?
  • Experiment corner: You might know I just started a podcast right? Well I’m such a nerd about all things copy, advertising and the power of influence that I also launched an Etsy store for it. You can find the first t-shirt ideas, a cool mug and a few limited prints to hang to your office wall as a reminder of what a copy geek you are. You can check it out here. New designs and products coming soon! Any request? 😊

📚 3 things to get better at copywriting

1. Sometimes I doubt the power of a good story. Then I read stuff like this by Derek Sivers and I remember. I remember how life changing stories can be (in both good and bad ways).

“Aim a laser pointer at the moon, then move your hand the tiniest bit, and it’ll move a thousand miles at the other end. The tiniest misunderstanding long ago, amplified through time, leads to piles of misunderstandings in the present.”

2. As I’m getting closer to the end of my summer trip home in Italy, I realize how my environment and the people around me influence my “wants” and desires (I forgot how hard it is to resist Italian food especially when on a diet).

This article goes into how to intentionally shape what you want to want.

I love this: “Once you understand that you are what you want, and that you can reprogram your wants, then the task is to discover what you want to want in life, and how to want what you want. You can do that by 1) experimentation and seeking direct experience, and 2) surrounding yourself with those who want the same things.”

When we write copy we should intentionally try to shape what our prospects want to want (in a way that benefits them). Try to use this with that perspective.

3. A great way to pick your mentors?

🤔 Thought of the week

“My experience has taught me that a man is never quite so near success as when that which he calls ‘failure’ has overtaken him, for it is on occasions of this sort that he is forced to think”

– Napoleon Hill, Outwitting the Devil

When you embrace the long view, failure no matter how seemingly fatal, paves the way for even greater success. If you’re not failing hard you’re not learning enough to become the person who can earn massive success.

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brain dump?

Every week I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

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